SHNH W.T. Stearn Student Essay Prize – now open for submissions

The Society for the History of Natural History’s William T. Stearn Essay Prize is now accepting submissions. The Prize is awarded to the best original, unpublished essay in the field of the history of natural history. The competition is open to undergraduates and postgraduate students in full or part-time education.

The prize will be awarded to the essay which contributes most significantly to the history of natural history, including its social and cultural aspects.

Prize winners are chosen by a panel of 3 judges (all members of the Society).


All entries must be received by the Secretary by 31 July 2021.


Essays should not have been previously published, and must not be under consideration at another journal.

Guidelines for submission and entry form can be found on our website : and a poster promoting the prize can be downloaded from this page.

The winning entry will normally be published in the Society’s journal ‘Archives of Natural History’. The winner receives a cash prize of £300 and a one-year free membership of the Society for the History of Natural History.

Read about Amelia Urry the 2020 award winner and Nathan Smith the 2019 award winner

Please do share with your networks to encourage submissions for the Prize.

‘Archives of Natural History’ is the journal of the Society for the History of Natural History, publishing papers on the history and bibliography of all branches of natural history